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10.17 Adverbs: The Superlative

The superlative using "mögen"
In the previous chapter you learned how to form the comparative of German adverbs and to express ideas such as "more", "bigger" etc. In this chapter, we have met several instances of the superlative of German adverbs - i.e. how to say that you like something "best" or enjoy doing something "most of all".

When using the verb "mögen" to express a preference, you form the superlative by using "am liebsten" (which is the superlative of the adverb of manner "gern"):

Wir mögen Berlin (gern).
("We like Berlin.")
Wir mögen Berlin lieber.
("We prefer Berlin.")
Wir mögen Berlin am liebsten.
("We like Berlin most of all.")
Welchen Wein mögen Sie lieber?
("Which wine do you prefer?")
Ich mag Rotwein lieber.
("I prefer red wine.")
Ich mag Rotwein am liebsten.
("I like red wine most of all.")

To add even more emphasis to your preferences, you could also use "am allerliebsten" to describe something which you like "more than anything else". For example:

  • Was magst du am allerliebsten?
    (What do you like more than anthing else?)
  • Am allerliebsten mag ich Fußball.
    (I like football more than anything else.)

The superlative of "gern" when used with other verbs
You will recall that we can use the adverb "gern(e)" with other verbs to describe things that you like doing. By extension therefore, you use "am liebsten" - the superlative of "gern(e)" with verbs other than "mögen" to describe what you like doing most of all:

Ich esse gern Käse.
("I like (to eat) cheese.")
Ich esse lieber Käse.
("I prefer (to eat) cheese.")
Ich esse am liebsten Käse.
("I like (to eat) cheese most of all.")
Welchen Wein trinken Sie am liebsten?
("Which wine do you like (drinking) most of all?")
Ich trinke am liebsten Weißwein.
("I like (to drink) white wine most of all.")

Once again you could use "am allerliebsten" to add even more emphasis:

  • Welche Sorte trinken Sie am allerliebsten?
    (What sort do you like drinking more than anthing else?)
  • Am allerliebsten trinken wir brasilianischen Kaffee.
    (We like Brazilian coffee more than anything else.)

The superlative using "gefallen"
As the optional adverb used with the verb "gefallen" is "gut", you need to use "am besten" (= the superlative of "gut") if you wish to use "gefallen" to say that you like something "most of all":

Diese Stadt gefällt uns (gut).
("We like this city.")
Diese Stadt gefällt uns besser.
("We prefer this city.")
Diese Stadt gefällt uns am besten.
("We like this city most of all.")
Was gefällt dir am besten?
("What do you like the most?")
Das Armband gefällt mir am besten.
("I like the bracelet most of all.")

Weiter! Chapter 10.18: Prepositions of motion

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